OUR PURPOSE

PhagoMed was founded based on the belief that the accelerating antibiotics crisis requires decisive action and that phages are among our best bets of defusing this existential crisis for modern medicine. The company is the brainchild of three very different individuals, who share this belief.
Burkhard is an experienced surgeon, who has always kept his patients interests closest to his heart. Now in his 60s he has performed thousands of hip and knee replacements as well as tumor surgeries and has been developing new orthopaedic techniques for many years. Since the 1990s Burkhard has also been part of the very early renaissance of phage therapy in Germany. After talking to a Georgian physician at the Hanover Medical School, he realized that phages could be a potential treatment options for the patients suffering from multi-drug resistant infections – which already existed back then, albeit in small numbers. Over the next two decades he kept seeking out phage treatments for hopeless cases under the existing experimental treatment rules. With some notable successes under his belt, Burkhard also became more and more frustrated that he was not able to bring phage therapy to more patients than the few experimental treatments he performed. So he started looking for ways to do something about that.
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Burkhard is an experienced surgeon, who has always kept his patients interests closest to his heart. Now in his 60s he has performed thousands of hip and knee replacements as well as tumor surgeries and has been developing new orthopaedic techniques for many years. Since the 1990s Burkhard has also been part of the very early renaissance of phage therapy in Germany. After talking to a Georgian physician at the Hanover Medical School, he realized that phages could be a potential treatment options for the patients suffering from multi-drug resistant infections – which already existed back then, albeit in small numbers. Over the next two decades he kept seeking out phage treatments for hopeless cases under the existing experimental treatment rules. With some notable successes under his belt, Burkhard also became more and more frustrated that he was not able to bring phage therapy to more patients than the few experimental treatments he performed. So he started looking for ways to do something about that.
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Alexander really knew nothing about phages before Burkhard told him about his treatment successes.To him it felt weird that a senior physician felt passionately about a type of therapy that had no application in Western medicine. So, he started to read about phages, their history and their potential. Slowly, but surely, he became convinced that the Western pharmaceutical industry had not acted fast enough once the first signs of the antibiotics crisis emerged – and that phages had real potential to be part of the solution. Many challenges were also immediately obvious: phages had no dedicated regulatory pathway, they lacked well documented clinical trials and many equated phage therapy with non-traditional medicines. Yet, Alexander was taken aback by the scale at which phages work in nature every day. Convinced that something so powerful in nature will have applications in Western medicine, Alexander sought out a partner who understood the actual science behind developing a pharmaceutical at this scale.

Lorenzo’s initial reaction was skeptical. Alexander cornered him during a joint lunch – both worked at the Boston Consulting Group – and asked him what he thought about phages. As a molecular biologist, Lorenzo knew of course that phages lyse bacteria, but would they be sufficiently fast and reliable? And if they really worked, should there not be products also in Western markets already? As the discussion continued, however, Lorenzo agreed that it was weird that such an important natural entity had no current application in Western medicine. And in fact, he was intrigued by the opportunity to change millions of lives in the face of the antibiotic’s crisis. He started screening the literature on phage therapy and developing a plan for what it would take to build-up a research pipeline in this field.
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Lorenzo’s initial reaction was skeptical. Alexander cornered him during a joint lunch – both worked at the Boston Consulting Group – and asked him what he thought about phages. As a molecular biologist, Lorenzo knew of course that phages lyse bacteria, but would they be sufficiently fast and reliable? And if they really worked, should there not be products also in Western markets already? As the discussion continued, however, Lorenzo agreed that it was weird that such an important natural entity had no current application in Western medicine. And in fact, he was intrigued by the opportunity to change millions of lives in the face of the antibiotic’s crisis. He started screening the literature on phage therapy and developing a plan for what it would take to build-up a research pipeline in this field.
Burkhard, Alexander and Lorenzo have made up the core team of PhagoMed ever since. First by devoting hundreds of hours in free time into researching phage therapy and later by jointly founding the company. In November 2017 the company was formally incorporated and within one year PhagoMed has established itself as one of the pioneers for phage therapy in Europe. As of late 2018, more than 10 scientists work on the PhagoMed research projects; the company has raised multiple million Euros to fund its journey and has formalized its relationship with four research partners across Europe. The joint purpose shared is still the same: bridge the gap between the phages that work in nature every day and the patients that could benefit from them.